U.S.: Europe is waking up to Iran’s aggressive behavior – TV7 Israel News 03.10.19

Shalom and good evening, this is TV7 Israel
News broadcasting to you from Jerusalem; And in today’s top stories;
Israel’s political crisis persists, despite continued efforts by Incumbent Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced
that it ‘will continue to scale back the country’s commitments under the 2015 nuclear
agreement with world powers.’ Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned
last month’s attack on Saudi oil facilities, yet insisted – in contrast to the United
States, Europe and Saudi Arabia itself – that there is no evidence of Iran’s responsibility. Incumbent Prime minister and Likud Chairman
Benjamin Netanyahu and Former Defense Minister and Yisrael Beitenu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman
held a meeting this morning, for the first time since the September 17th elections, as
part of Netanyahu’s efforts to form a government. The meeting came in light of a decision by
Former IDF Chief of Staff and Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz to freeze all negotiations
on a possible unity government – after the long-time’ ruling Likud party was said to
have refused preconditions upon which Blue and White agreed to negotiate. Instead of meeting with Gantz, Netanyahu held
consultations with the leaders the right-wing ultra-orthodox bloc, who reportedly unanimously
approved today’s meeting with Lieberman. Consequently, the Incumbent Prime Minister
called his former Defense Minister last night, during which he told him that “There is
no point in wasting the country’s time,” and that a meeting between the two leaders
was vital to evaluate whether their discussions are serious or not, and based on that, a decision
can be made. Following their phone-conversation, Avigdor
Lieberman reiterated in a written statement on his Facebook page: “All of our efforts
are to establish a national unity government that consists of three parties – Yisrael
Beitenu, Likud and Blue and White. This position was clarified before the elections,
during the elections, and after the elections, and also today after the meeting of our party
leadership.” Lieberman further underscored that “(Yisrael
Beitenu) will not partner with any other government formation.” Meanwhile, following the meeting between Lieberman
and Netanyahu this morning, a Likud official told TV7 that “no breakthrough had been
achieved,” while a Yisrael Beitenu source informed TV7 that “Netanyahu seems to be
preparing the ground ahead of returning his mandate to President (Reuven Rivlin),” and
that “wide gaps remain between Likud and Blue and White, which lessens the viability
of a unity government to emerge.” The source also echoed his Party leader’s
unwavering position, in which: “the only way to assure Israel’s security and peace,
both domestic and global,” is to “bridge the gaps and form a national unity government.” Now to the Islamic Republic, where;
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced that it ‘will continue to scale back the
country’s commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.’ In a written statement, it emphasized that
“if other parties to the nuclear deal respect their obligations and implement them, the
Islamic Republic of Iran, too, will return to the full implementation of the deal.” As such, the statement read, the “Atomic
Energy Organization of Iran will press ahead with its broad scientific and strategic activities
in order to secure new potentialities in different hardware and software domains within the framework
of national regulations and commitments under the Nuclear Safeguards Agreement until the
desired objective is achieved.” It is important to note that this statement
came after Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei instructed the organization to
keep reducing the Islamic Republic’s commitments under the nuclear accord, until Tehran’s
“desired objective is achieved,” while stopping short from elaborating on the referred
to “objective.” Speaking to members of the Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps, Ayatollah Khamenei also mentioned that he obstructed efforts by U.S. officials
to facilitate a meeting, in coordination with Washington’s European allies, between Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani and U.S. President Donald Trump. He claimed that any meeting between the two
Presidents would be viewed as an ‘Iranian surrender’. “They (U.S. officials) wanted to pretend,
they wanted to make up a symbolic state of Iran surrendering, and force the president
of our country to meet. They even begged for it. They even made their European friends meddle. They all came and went, and failed until the
end.” The comments by Iran’s supreme leader appear
to contradict President Rouhani, who insisted during a cabinet meeting in Tehran, that the
Islamic Republic is not the one who runs away from negotiations. “Iran does not run from negotiations. Iran is at the negotiation table.” President Rouhani further insisted to his
cabinet ministers that efforts to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal is not yet over, as
Europe and “others” continue to try and salvage what remains of the accord. “The road is not over. The pathway is not closed. Europeans are still trying. Others are still trying.” Despite the contradictory claims by the Iranian
President; U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that “European nations have begun
to wake up to the fact that Iran is the aggressor.” During a joint Press conference in Rome, alongside
his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio, the American top diplomat reiterated the importance
of “staying united against Iranian aggression,” while commending Italy for renewing its ‘entry-ban’
on aircrafts belonging Iran’s Mahan Air carrier. “And we should continue to stay united against
Iranian aggression, European nations have begun to wake up to the fact that Iran is
the aggressor and not the aggrieved and that fact is also clear from Italy’s decision not
to renew Mahan Air’s access to Italy and we’re very grateful for that.” Now to Moscow, where;
Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned last month’s attack on Saudi oil facilities,
yet insisted – in contrast to the United States, Europe and Saudi Arabia itself – that
there was no evidence of Iran’s responsibility. “They (attacks similar to drone attack on
Saudi oil facilities) do not deliver proper results to those who planned them, but instead
do harm to the global economy, including the consumers. That is why we condemn it. However, we are against shifting the blame
to Iran because there is no proof of that.” President Putin, who spoke at an Energy Forum
that is held in Moscow, underscored the importance of ‘preserving agreements’ regarding the
Islamic Republic’s nuclear program and subsequently normalize global relations with Tehran, which
the Russian leader insists, “it will benefit the world’s energy security.” “Solving those issues (sanctions on Iran)
has strong connection to the questions of global security. Shall Iran abide the principles of JCPOA (Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action) is a very acute question to the world’s politics. But we strongly count on the agreements to
be preserved, and in the end the situation around Iran to be normalized. In the end, it will benefit the world’s energy
security.” Speaking at the same energy forum in Moscow,
Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman asserted that Saudi Arabia has shown both
resilience and restraint following devastating drone attacks on its Aramco oil installations. “I would say that Saudi Arabia is a consumer-oriented
country. And we have – even under duress, under this
stressful environment – we have demonstrated our resilience as a government, our constraint
as a government I must say also. And the resilience of the (Oil & Gas) company
(Aramco) operating. We are proud of the Saudi and non-Saudi that
have (been) working for Aramco.” The attacks targeted the Abqaiq and the Khurais
plants, causing fires and damage that halved the crude output of the world’s top oil exporter,
by shutting down some 5.7 million barrels per day of production. This resulted in a global spike in oil prices,
which impacted Israel, as well. Customer oil prices in Israel rose by 11 Agorot
to 6.18 shekels, which is equal to 1.61 Euros per liter, or 6.7 dollars per gallon. For more information on Israel and its region
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